HP finally seals £6bn Autonomy buy

By Gareth Morgan
04 Oct 2011 View Comments
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HP has finally closed its contentious £6.23bn deal for UK data analytics firm Autonomy, after 87 per cent of shareholders accepted its offer.

Analysts had expressed surprised when HP originally announced its intention to buy Autonomy, with many agog at the near 80 per cent premium it was prepared to offer stockholders.

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And the move is widely believed to have contributed to the downfall of HP’s previous chief executive, Leo Apotheker, who agreed the deal.

Nevertheless, HP’s new boss, Meg Whitman, said the acquisition would boost HP’s data management capabilities.

“The exploding growth of unstructured and structured data and unlocking its value is the single largest opportunity for consumers, businesses and governments,” she added.

Autonomy will continue to operate as an independent unit in HP, led by its chief executive and founder, Mike Lynch.

But some have questioned whether the ongoing turmoil at HP will result in Lynch departing as soon as the terms of the acquisition allow.

“If the chaos that is HP today continues for too much longer – and the signs are not good – I can see Lynch and a lot of Autonomy’s newly enriched engineers walking," said Richard Holway, of market watchers TechMarketView.

HP’s offer to acquire the remaining 13 per cent of shares remains open.

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